A Sneak Peek at DDO's Latest Expansion, The Shadowfell Conspiracy

| 28 May 2013 18:30
DDO Shadowfell expansion 2

Though I didn't get as close of a look at the other classes as I did with the Bladeforged Paladin, I was able to ask a few questions and even see a few NPC Iconic Heroes in action. The second Iconic Hero is the Shadar-Kai Assassin, a sneaky chain rogue who combines deadly precision damage with a wide range of AoE physical attacks based on the chain that the character holds. There is also a Sun-elf Morninglord, a cleric to Amaunator (the deity of the sun), who specializes in aiding his allies and banishing the shadows of Shar (the goddess of shadows, and the antagonist of this expansion). Finally, Turbine also included a Purple Dragon Knight, an elite human fighter from the Cormyrian army. Although the Purple Dragon Knight is a human, Turbine decided to go ahead and recreate the human model for this Iconic class, making them a good deal taller and bulkier than the normal human model, to represent their legendary strength and power.

Iconic Heroes not only fit conveniently with one another into the holy trinity of MMOs (tank, healer, dps), but also give great depth to the story that Turbine is telling with this expansion. The forces of Shar have begun to invade the Forgotten Realms, and it is up to these noteworthy heroes to battle them back. All four of the Iconic Heroes are a part of The Shadowfell Conspiracy story directly, from the Netherese-based Shadar-Kai to the Bladeforged recently created by the Lord of Blades, whom players have just finished fighting in the most recently released expansion.

The Shadowfell Conspiracy is going to be based out of the city of Cormyr, a powerful good-aligned city near the heart of Faerun. Players will be primarily interacting with the Cormyr Magistrates, a faction that will be providing the players with most of the new content and helping them to repel the dark intrusion of the Netherese. The expansion features tons of new content for players looking to explore one of the four new Iconic classics, and also features plenty of new additions for heroes who are already established in DDO. In addition to the new solo content in the mid-range levels (15-19), the level cap in DDO is also being increased in this expansion, now set to epic level 28.

The Shadowfell Conspiracy also includes two brand new dungeons for players to explore, as well as the preorder prequel quest to the expansion, 'Shadow of a Doubt'. Shadow of a Doubt is only available to players who pre-order the expansion, and fills in some of the background information on the Netherese and Shar's presence on the material plane. It also gives players an initial look at the Shadowfell and the shadow monsters featured in the expansion.

The first dungeon is Wheloon, a prison city filled with irredeemable criminals that have been blockaded off by the Cormyr Magistrates. Deep within Wheloon, Netherese magi and Shar worshippers have begun to reach out to Shadowfell, the plane of shadow. The city has come under attack from the inside, and darkness has begun to creep into the streets, even during the daylight hours. Players must investigate the threat to Wheloon, and prevent whatever horrors the Netherese have been preparing under the cover of night. I was only able to see a small part of Wheloon, but from the inside, the city-prison feels satisfyingly right. The buildings are on fire, there are rioters in the streets, and shadow monsters are lurking behind every corner, and not to give anything away, but the final boss will leave you very excited to check out the rest of the content that The Shadowfell Conspiracy has to offer.

Dungeons-Dragons-Online
Dungeons & Dragons Online

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The next update, should be a graphics overall, but am not sure how much life is left in this game, that it would warrant that.

I played this game for two years after it went f2p and had a great time. It is worth checking out just from a design perspective to see how they turned the turn-based 3rd edition d&d rules into realtime MMO mechanics.

The free-to-play offerings are excellent, and you can potentially level to 20 (pre-expansion max) without spending a dime.

Even though the graphics are dated I highly recommend this mmo to anyone who has even a slight interest in the legacy of dungeons and dragons.

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